Cricket in Barham: Two hundred years of play in a Kentish village


By Mark Chaloner

Village cricket has been an integral part of life in Kent for over 200 years, and not least in Barham, a village near Canterbury. Telling the story of cricket in one place, this book sheds a broader light on the highs and lows of the game in England more generally.

In the 18th century, cricket in the area grew rapidly in popularity, and nearby Bourne Park and Barham Downs were important early cricket venues. Barham’s first recorded cricket match was in 1813 and, during the 19th century, the game in the village developed with the support of the cricket-loving Oxenden family. A thriving club was established and flourished in the first half of the 20th century. Unfortunately, decline followed from the 1950s. Despite several valiant attempts to revive the club, stumps were drawn in 2014, a result of many wider changes in society.

Whilst the focus is on the cricket club in Barham and the people who sustained it, the book explores the wider contexts of village life and of the changing fortunes of the game in East Kent.

This book is now available only from the author, at

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